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View Full Version : New G5 - go with ATI Radeon 9600 Pro or 9800?


lem0nayde
Jul 19, 2003, 07:24 PM
Does anyone know if there is a big difference between these two cards? Is the 9800 worth the extra $300 as an add-on? Or should I just stick with the 9600 and wait for better technology to come out?

job
Jul 19, 2003, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by lem0nayde
Does anyone know if there is a big difference between these two cards? Is the 9800 worth the extra $300 as an add-on? Or should I just stick with the 9600 and wait for better technology to come out?

What do you want to do with it?

If you are going for games, then splurge on the 9800. It has twice the memory and will be able to play more games in the future. However the 9600 Pro is no slouch either and is more than adequate for day to day use.

lem0nayde
Jul 22, 2003, 12:14 AM
I do 2d work, mostly web design and illustration. I am looking to do some animation and film in the future - and would like to dabble in 3d but nothing serious.

Sorry it took me so long to reply - I've been buried in work.

Joe

Nermal
Jul 22, 2003, 12:15 AM
Just get the 9600.

job
Jul 22, 2003, 01:12 AM
I agree with Nermal. The 9600 would suit you just fine. The extra memory of the 9800 won't make that much of a difference regarding your work. At this point in time, a 9800 is perfect for two things:

a) Bragging rights
and
b) Insane frames per second in Quake3 and/or Unreal Tournament 2k3.

From what I've read, the 9600 and the 9800 are based on a similar GPU with the only differences being clockspeed and memory.

With the $300 you save, you could buy some more RAM or just save it! ;)

Wyrm
Jul 22, 2003, 01:19 AM
The 9800 is a little more advanced in terms of the visual effects it can display. The shader programs can be quite long. How that translates into real-world means pretty much nothing currently - and it may be a year before games even support longer shader programs.

They can both produce the same visual effects AFAIK, and both have 128MB ram.

The 9800 is also a faster pixel pusher, and is more or less cutting edge for gamers right now. It can push 50-100% more pixels per sec.

The 9600 is a faster freq. but slower (narrower memory controller) - but 2D for both these cards will be about the same level (very impressive).

That said, according to rumor, the R360 (the R350 is in the 9800) (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=10544) has taped out and should hit market in 60 - 90 days. How long it will take to get a Mac version? No clue - but it will probably be after a PC release.

The successor to the 9600 (maybe available mid next year?) will most likely be cheaper than $300, and probably match or exceed the current 9800.

There really is no game which can use the 9800 yet, but that will change over the next year.

-Wyrm

job
Jul 22, 2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by Wyrm
They can both produce the same visual effects AFAIK, and both have 128MB ram.

Sadly Mac users got the shaft again as our 'version' of the 9600 is stripped and has only 64MB of VRAM. However, the performance of the 9600 is far better than the GeForce FX5200 Ultra.

There really is no game which can use the 9800 yet, but that will change over the next year.

No kidding. :)

I can't think of any current game that requires at least 64MB of VRAM, much less alone 128MB or even 256MB! Although I bet Doom3 will change that. :p

MacBandit
Jul 22, 2003, 01:54 AM
It really doesn't matter which version of the video card you get they won't help with rendering or 3d or 2d developement for that matter. The will speed up playback but not the initial generation. For that you need a completely different type of video card.

The ATI 9800s and NVidia FXs of the world are gaming cards and that's it. Though Apple has tied system GUI acceleration to them there isn't much else benefit you will get from them besides gaming.

Wyrm
Jul 22, 2003, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by job
Sadly Mac users got the shaft again as our 'version' of the 9600 is stripped and has only 64MB of VRAM. However, the performance of the 9600 is far better than the GeForce FX5200 Ultra.


Yikes - I wonder if that will change soon after they start shipping? 64MB is lower than any shipping 9600 part from ATI now.

Oh well.

-Wyrm

jkojima
Jul 22, 2003, 09:10 AM
I can't think of any current game that requires at least 64MB of VRAM, much less alone 128MB or even 256MB! Although I bet Doom3 will change that.

I read a report on AnandTech.com (a PC techie site) that showed today's top of the line ATI and NVidia cards displaying as little as 20 frames per second in a Doom 3 preview. These are the same cards that are capable of several hundred fps in Quake 3.

With that perspective, there really is no difference between the 9600 and the 9800... in a year they'll both be equally obsolete to hardcore gamers. But for 2D work, and the odd 3D job or game, the 9600 is probably the best-valued card Apple is offering with the G5.

cubist
Jul 22, 2003, 09:30 AM
Speaking of which... Am I the only one who noticed that Apple was not showing any games at all in their booth at MWNY?

Last year they had a row of iMacs running all kinds of games. This year, none.

But I did get Burning Monkey Solitaire and Legion for $15 each. Yay! Legion's pretty cool, but BMS is addictive! I have to seriously keep myself away from it.

lem0nayde
Jul 22, 2003, 01:27 PM
Wow cool - lots of responses. Thanks everyone for chiming in. So - if the ATI cards are really just cards souped up for gamers (which I am not) then are there any cards out there that will help with my 2-d and possible film/dvd work?

You really only ever hear about ATI and NVIDIA. And Apple kind of spins it like these cards are going to make Photoshop scream. I mean, why would a pro-graphics user want a video card meant for playing games?

Clearly I know little on this subject - any info is appreciated.

Glad I can go with the 9600...now I can buy at macwarehouse and not pay taxes - since I don't need to customize. although then again, Apple will probably get it to me more quickly.

Sun Baked
Jul 22, 2003, 04:38 PM
It'll cost you $300 to add it to your custom order, or you can buy it for a little bit more later and still have the 9600.

$300 for a 9800

$399 for both 9800 and a 9600 card

Hmmm....

Which purchase looks like the better deal, especially if you have a second machine around that can use the other card.

hvfsl
Jul 22, 2003, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by lem0nayde
Does anyone know if there is a big difference between these two cards? Is the 9800 worth the extra $300 as an add-on? Or should I just stick with the 9600 and wait for better technology to come out?

The Radeon 9800 costs $300 new for the PC, that is a bit much for an upgrade.

Anyway I don't see any point in getting a R9800 over the R9600 unless you have lots of money. The R9800 is a lot faster, but the G5 with a R9600 can run all games perfectly anyway. My R8500 is good enough to use in Ut2003 with all the settings set to Max.

I would get the R9600 now that then get a R9800 a bit later when it comes down in price or wait until the next version of the Radeon or Geforce.

hvfsl
Jul 22, 2003, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by lem0nayde
Wow cool - lots of responses. Thanks everyone for chiming in. So - if the ATI cards are really just cards souped up for gamers (which I am not) then are there any cards out there that will help with my 2-d and possible film/dvd work?

You really only ever hear about ATI and NVIDIA. And Apple kind of spins it like these cards are going to make Photoshop scream. I mean, why would a pro-graphics user want a video card meant for playing games?

Clearly I know little on this subject - any info is appreciated.

Glad I can go with the 9600...now I can buy at macwarehouse and not pay taxes - since I don't need to customize. although then again, Apple will probably get it to me more quickly.

The faster the 3D graphics card is, the faster 3D apps like MAYA run (although the final rendering is done on the CPU). There are no cards that are dedicated to 2D on the Mac. Matrox does a few for the PC but I think they stopped making them for the Mac and they only speed up Adobe Premier. There are other high end cards for video and other 3D work on the Mac but they costs thousands of dollars. Besides ATI cards are only slightly not as good in 2D work compared to Matrox. Although I would not get a Nvidia card since a lot of people on the PC are complaining about Nvidias graphics quality not being as good as ATI.

Only video and 3D work is gets a speed boast from the graphics card, it does not make any difference which graphics card you run PhotoShop on (as long as it can support the colours and resolution you want).

job
Jul 22, 2003, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by jkojima
I read a report on AnandTech.com (a PC techie site) that showed today's top of the line ATI and NVidia cards displaying as little as 20 frames per second in a Doom 3 preview. These are the same cards that are capable of several hundred fps in Quake 3.

We also have to keep in mind that the Doom3 that is being played was a leaked alpha. The code in the leaked release wasn't optimized yet.

News has also surfaced with regards to the minimum specs to run Doom3. Based of the requirements a 9600 and/or 9800 would seem to be an ideal candidate for Doom3.

job
Jul 22, 2003, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by hvfsl
Only video and 3D work is gets a speed boast from the graphics card, it does not make any difference which graphics card you run PhotoShop on (as long as it can support the colours and resolution you want).

Agreed. Your performance in 2-D projects won't see a major speed difference either way you go.

lem0nayde
Jul 22, 2003, 09:48 PM
Thanks everyone, you've been a great help and saved me $300!